NASCAR legend Glen Wood died on Friday at age 93, leaving behind one of the most glorious legacies in the sport’s history.
Glen and his sibling Leonard founded their namesake Wood Brothers Racing team in 1950 and entered the NASCAR Cup series in 1953. Glen would go on to win four races over an 11-year driving career, then help shepherd a long list of racers that would include 19 named to NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list alongside him. Stars like Buddy Baker, Cale Yarborough, Junior Johnson and Bill Elliott were among the top drivers that spent time in a Wood Brothers car.
Wood Brothers Racing is credited with inventing the modern pit stop, which cut the time its cars were parked for tires and fuel in half. The team was so good at it that Ford asked it to be the pit crew for its 1965 Indianapolis 500 effort, which saw Jim Clark drive a mid-engine car to victory for the first time, revolutionizing the series.
"This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford's board of directors. "The Wood Brothers race team, by any measure, has been one of the most successful racing operations in the history of NASCAR. Most importantly for our company, Glen and his family have remained loyal to Ford throughout their 69-year history.
"Glen was an innovator who, along with his family, changed the sport itself. But, more importantly, he was a true Southern gentleman who was quick with a smile and a handshake and he was a man of his word. I will cherish the memories of our chats in the NASCAR garage, at their race shop in Mooresville or the racing museum in Stuart."
Wood Brothers Racing is recognized as the longest active NASCAR team, and is sitting on a record of 99 wins over 1,459 NASCAR Cup races entering this season. Current driver Paul Menard finished 19th in 2018.
Glen was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012, followed by Leonard the next year.
"There are so many words that describe Glen Wood — pioneer, legend, competitor, dedicated, committed, resilient, humble, authentic and many more," said NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley.
Many racing greats remembered Wood on Twitter after hearing the news of his passing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report